• Menu
  • Menu
Piton des Neiges, Bild: Vincent Ducheman / shutterstock

The most beautiful sights and excursion destinations on La Réunion

The Île de la Réunion, part of the French Overseas Territory, is one of the most fascinating island worlds in the Indian Ocean in terms of tourism. To the east of the coast of Madagascar, a spectacular natural paradise unfolds, whose green panoramas have their origin in the volcanic activity of the Piton des Neiges. Even today, the central formation shapes the geography of the island, whose highlights attract great attention, especially among nature lovers. Whether it’s the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Parc national de la Réunion, the striking Cap Méchant with its rock gate and the Voile de la mariée waterfall: La Réunion offers a breathtaking selection of natural sights.

Parc national de la Réunion – The island’s UNESCO World Heritage Site

Reunion Beach
Reunion is simply paradise, Image: Balate Dorin / shutterstock

The Parc national de la Réunion is the natural heart of La Réunion. With its peaks and cirques, it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. As one of the nine French national parks, it covers about 40 percent of the island’s territory in the heart of La Réunion. It is therefore not surprising that some of the most beautiful natural formations and natural sights can be discovered within the national park. In the middle of the center is the extinct volcano Piton des Neiges, which formed La Réunion about three million years ago. Today, the Piton des Neiges is not only an attraction for experienced mountaineers, but also the natural hikes and trekking tours to the Piton des Neiges. Together with the historic calderas Cirque de Salazie, Cirque de Mafate and Cirque de Cilaos, it forms the natural heart of the Parc national de la Réunion.

Cirque de Salazie, Cirque de Cilaos and co. – The cirques in the national park

Together with the historic volcano Piton des Neiges, the Cirque de Salazie, Cirque de Mafate and Cirque de Cilaos calderas have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in La Réunion’s National Park since 2010 under the title Pitons, cirques et remparts de l’île de La Réunion. Narrow road bends – such as the Road of 420 Curves – lead into the heart of the two more easily accessible calderas, Cirque de Cilaos and Cirque de Salazie. An exceptional natural panorama unfolds in the surroundings of the calderas, which, like the Piton des Neiges, form essential parts of the nature of the national park. The valley basin of Salazie is particularly popular for its natural hiking routes, which bring visitors closer to the green facets of the national park. The Cilaos cirque, located directly on the Piton des Neiges, also attracts nature and hiking enthusiasts from the region with its routes – like the tours to the Piton des Neiges, they provide the best reasons for fans of active travel to visit the National Park of La Réunion.

See also  The islands of the Mascarene Islands

Cilaos cirque

If you travel to the Cilaos cirque, you will drive through very impressive hairpin bends with a breathtakingly beautiful landscape in the most beautiful greenery. At this holiday destination, it is definitely worth unpacking your hiking boots and exploring the area on foot. You should definitely visit the town of Cilaos.

Cap Méchant with rock gate – Natural archways on Le Réunion

Cap Méchant, Reunion
Cap Méchant, Image: Zourite / shutterstock

If you are looking for a contrast to the national park in the heart of La Réunion, the coast of the French island offers dreamlike bays and sea panoramas. There are the striking rock faces of Cap Jaune or the beach idyll of the Plage des Roches Noires. Cap Méchant in the south of the island is particularly photogenic, formed from the fascinating legacies of La Réunion’s volcanic activity. The unpredictable cliff landscapes require a natural safety distance, but with appropriate caution they provide one of the most beautiful views of the coastal world of Lá Reunion. In the middle of an untameable surf, a striking rock gate is also presented here, which penetrates the cooled lava with a special sight. A nice contrast to the mountains and forests in the heart of the island. By the way: If you are interested in natural rock gates, you will find a similar one in the valley of the Bras de la Plaine river, the L’Arche Naturelle, a comparatively beautiful natural spectacle.

The Cap Noir and the Mafate viewpoint

Here you will find beautiful hiking trails to explore. One of the destinations of these routes is the Mafate viewpoint, which consists of a small pavilion and a few benches. The view here is truly of breathtaking beauty. The green valley visible from here provides an amazement that never wants to end. Just beautiful and to enjoy!

Weekly market of Saint-Paul – delicacies in the coastal town

Weekly market of Saint Paul
Weekly market of Saint Paul, Image: Stefano Ember /hat shutterstock

La Réunion offers a lot of untouched nature, so a trip into city life can be a pleasant alternative. The island’s weekly markets are famous, especially that of Saint-Paul. Whether blaze of colour or exotic smells and tastes, the weekly market of the coastal town is full of them. From fruit to vegetables, from regional specialities to spices and clothing – on market days, a pleasantly lively island life with interesting assortments awaits you here. As a rule, the market of Saint-Paul takes place from Friday to Saturday. The market experience is not limited to Saint-Paul, cities such as Saint-Pierre and Saint-Denis also have weekly markets or fixed market halls with culinary highlights. If you want to enrich your holiday on La Réunion with regional specialities, you should visit the island’s towns and markets.

Whale watching – whale watching in the coastal region of La Réunion

In the appropriate season, the coast of La Réunion is lively: whales are drawn to the island region, which inspire many travelers to whale watch. June to September are considered the best months to catch a glimpse of the special sea creatures. A typical starting point for the popular tours is the seaside resort of Saint-Gilles les Bains, from where some glass-bottom boats depart. Especially on the south coast of the island, the gigantic marine mammals appear during the season. Whale watching at La Réunion is strictly regulated – including minimum distances so as not to disturb the fragile ecosystem in the long term. In the corresponding season, humpback whales are particularly widespread near La Réunion. There are also isolated sightings of pilot whales, small killer whales and right whales. Dolphins are also regular visitors to the shores of La Réunion. Further proof that the island is one of the special natural paradises in the Indian Ocean.

See also  Réunion - a fragrant flower and coral gardens

Grand Anse Beach

The palm beach Grand Anse is located in the south of La Réunion. This beautiful white sandy beach is a must-see. It invites you to linger for a longer time and relax in the sun. Due to the existing shark danger in the area, an area was separated from the sea with stones especially for tourism. In this separately created swimming pool you can splash around safely and wonderfully. A beautiful day of swimming under the hot sun of the Indian Ocean is guaranteed.

Cap Jaune

Cap Jaune is a rock face about 50 meters high in the south of La Réunion. But this beautiful holiday resort is not that easy to reach. First, you have to hike over lava rock for about half an hour to get to this beautiful place. But once you are there, you can observe the natural interplay of the sea and this rock face. In an impressive setting, the waves slap against the rock face again and again. This spectacle invites you to enjoy it for hours, preferably with a magnificent sunset. It is even possible to climb down this rock face. For the more adventurous, extra ropes are attached for abseiling. The Cap Jaune was created by combining glowing lava with the seawater.

Lagoon on the west coast

On the west coast of La Réunion, you will find a unique lagoon that is second to none. This is certainly one of the most beautiful places on the island. The sandy beach, which is several kilometres long, offers the ideal opportunities for a perfect bathing experience. The underwater world demonstrates a colorful spectacle to snorkelers and divers. This beach is also secured from sharks.

Piton de la Fournaise

The Piton de la Fournaise is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Very often this spits out lava. If you are on the island, there is a good chance that you will be able to observe this spectacle for yourself. There is a volcano museum nearby, where you can learn a lot of interesting facts about it. On the one hand, this is very interesting, but on the other hand, it is also very instructive in order to better understand the whole context.

Saint-Leu Turtle Observatory

The turtle observatory in Saint-Leu is particularly interesting for children.
You will learn a lot of interesting facts about these armored inhabitants of the island. In addition, you can experience turtle rearing up close at the research station.

Crater Lake Grand Bassin

Réunion’s only crater lake, Grand Bassin, is definitely worth a visit. This is located in the center of La Réunion. Several waterfalls provide it with cool water from a great height. You simply have to see this spectacle with your own eyes. In the immediate vicinity there are breathtaking gorges and rock formations with green valleys. This place with its biodiversity of plants and animals is really a fantastic experience. Here you might think you’ve come one step closer to paradise.